Fire crews were on scene for hours Monday and into Tuesday, after a fire tore through a hotel in Thompson.
Thompson’s fire chief John Maskerine told CTV News the fire broke out Monday afternoon at the Interior Inn, and that firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 4 p.m.
Maskerine said firefighters arrived to find that flames had already engulfed parts of the first and second floor, and were starting to burn into the third floor.
While roughly 26 Thompson firefighters battled the blaze, additional resources had to be called in, including volunteer firefighters.
Maskerine said that all guests had been accounted for, but the building owner said it was possible there were guests in rooms they didn't know about.
“What we cannot do at the moment is account for the amount of guests that nobody seems to know which rooms they were in, or who they were,” said Maskerine.
Maskerine also said firefighters removed one person from a room, who was then taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
Maskerine said crews were still working Tuesday morning.
“We are still flowing water on hot spots, trying to get it to a point where our investigators can get inside,” he said.
He added that there were no longer flames, but parts of the building were still smoldering, and heavy smoke remains. He said the building is destroyed beyond repair.
Firefighters were expected to remain on scene in the coming days.
Squeeze for space ahead of Manitoba Winter Games
According to the Interior Inn’s website the establishment had 45 rooms.
Thompson city manager Gary Ceppetelli said the loss of the inn is devastating for the community and will create a squeeze for space in the coming months.
Ceppetelli said Thompson is hosting the Manitoba Winter Games from March 4 to 10 and is expecting to welcome about 1,000 athletes and 1,000 guests.
“To lose a structure of that size and significance in our community will have impact on us moving forward,” he said.
“With the number of visitors and parents and officials that are coming up for the games hotel rooms would come at a premium.”
“The rental of room is a huge industry in our community ranging from administration to government, workers that are coming in and out for meetings, definitely rooms are usually well sought after and if not booked well in advance, it does become a problem booking a room,” he said.
Ceppetelli said the host society who is organizing the games for the city are working with hotel industry make sure enough rooms have been blocked boom.
“With the loss of the this structure now sort of puts a greater squeeze on trying to make a block number of rooms available.”
Ceppetelli was not aware of anyone who became homeless because of the fire.
Tuesday afternoon he said the fire department was still working on putting on hot spots.
He expects authorities conducting the investigation will begin their work tomorrow.
With files from CTV Winnipeg's Beth Macdonell